Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mark Purdy at the Mercury News,
We now have definitive proof that San Jose is a hockey town.
Earlier this week, a civilian spotted Joel Quenneville on the streets of our fair city. And actually recognized Quenneville. And tipped off a Mercury News columnist about it.
Quenneville is the former coach of the Colorado Avalanche, as of earlier this month. And unless he was here to visit the Winchester Mystery House or shop at Santana Row, odds are that Quenneville was interviewing for the Sharks’ vacant coaching job.
In fact, the Mercury News received multiple confirmations of Quenneville’s presence in San Jose. Pretty impressive feat by our citizen journalists. Quenneville is hardly the NHL’s most famous face.
continued… with more San Jose Sharks coaching speculation
from the San Jose Sharks,
Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick has agreed to terms with the Sharks for the 2008-09 season.
“Jeremy Roenick was a warrior for our team on and off the ice this past season,” said Sharks Executive Vice President Doug Wilson.
Update 12:09pm ET: From TSN,
TSN has learned that the contract is worth roughly $1 million, or slightly more than twice what he earned last season, however the paper work on the contract must still get approval from the NHL.
In today’s Mercury News, Mark Purdy points out that the San Jose Sharks host their ““State of the Franchise” session tonight at HP Pavilion, and team executives will be taking questions from fans. Purdy isn’t too optimistic however, and predicts some of the not-so-insightful information to be gained from the event. Such as:
Santa Clara Sam: “This question is for General Manager Doug Wilson. Is Patrick Marleau on the trading block? I keep hearing he is, because he has a no-trade clause that kicks in July 1. Marleau was struggling so much until the very last part of the season and the playoffs. Wouldn’t it make sense to deal him now, with his value up, for a strong defenseman or a top-line forward?”
General Manager Doug: “Our priority is to have as many good players as possible on the roster next season. Patrick is a good player except when he isn’t. And there are many other good players in the NHL who often aren’t as good as Patrick when he is good. Likewise, some are as good as Patrick is when he is not good. I think you see where I’m heading.”
Santa Clara Sam: “No. I don’t.”
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The price hike - which covers season tickets and single-game seats - averages 7 percent to 8 percent, Sharks President Greg Jamison said Monday, though the percentage increase varies more widely in each seating category….
Fans and some in the media have criticized the Sharks for not spending closer to the amount allowed as the team pursues a Stanley Cup. The Sharks, however, are quick to point out over the years that high-spending teams, even in a cap era, do not usually end up with the silver trophy.
“We build the best team that we can and it comes in wherever it comes in,” Jamison said of the team’s payroll. “And we as an organization have always been willing to step up when the time is right.”
from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,
GM Doug Wilson is expected to make a strong effort to retain defenseman Brian Campbell, who Wilson acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline. But that could prove expensive as Campbell could command up to $7 million per season in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.
Persistent rumors of Wilson trading Patrick Marleau have predictably flared up again, but unlike this time last year they won’t be dragging on for an entire season.
Marleau’s new two-year, $12. 6 million contract – with a no-trade clause – kicks in on July 1, so if Wilson is in fact shopping his long-time captain he has a limited window to pull off the deal.
more rumor talk…
From PJ Swenson at Sharkspage,
Former Los Angeles Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose said in a short telephone interview today that he is still interested in a head coaching position. “Once you are a head coach, you are always a coach” Melrose said. He believes the position in San Jose is the most desirable opportunity on the market because in his opinion the Sharks could compete for a Stanley Cup next season.
Asked about the feelings of disappointment by players and staff after a second round exit to Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, Melrose said, “They should feel disappointed, they should still be playing”.
from Carl Steward of Inside Bay Area,
Reading the long list of possible candidates to coach the San Jose Sharks, only one name runs me up against the boards and slams me with intrigue—Mike Ricci. If nothing else, what a face to identify your increasingly faceless franchise, eh?
Stop snickering. I know there are a lot of things wrong with pinning Ricci’s name high on the candidate board. He has barely stopped playing, he’s never coached, and with those long locks and that hard-knock hockey mug, he doesn’t really look like a coach. He’s not button-down or buzz-cut, and unlike Ron Wilson, probably doesn’t spend half his day logging line rotations and brainy theorems into his laptop.
from Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News,
The Sharks’ first phone call, which I’m assuming took place earlier this week, had to go to Pat Burns. Just had to.
It makes so much hockey sense. It helps explain how General Manager Doug Wilson persuaded himself to fire Ron Wilson, a coach he defended and kept through previous tense times.
Everything about the early stages of the Sharks’ search points to Burns - if he’s interested in moving to the West Coast and he’s healthy after two recent bouts with cancer (it sounds as if Burns is doing fine).
Sharkspage does a great job covering the Ron Wilson firing and takes a look back at his coaching career in San Jose.
Update 11:34am ET (alanah): An article that I don’t think PJ references at Sharkspage, that I also thought was very good—Ray Ratto of the SF Chronicle considers that the issues in San Jose may be more systemic than specific to Ron Wilson.
From the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has relieved Head Coach Ron Wilson of his coaching duties. The Sharks general manager also announced that team will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.
“Ron helped foster a new era in San Jose Sharks hockey with some record-setting regular season performances,” said Doug Wilson. “However, ultimately we have decided that it is time for a different voice and a different approach to lead this team. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished as an organization but we feel that this team is capable of achieving greater success. I want to thank Ron for his level of commitment and desire to make our organization successful. Our entire organization wishes him well.”
added 9:40pm, from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
If his motivational strategies had worked, Wilson would have been applauded. But after four-plus seasons of attempting every possible ploy, what could Wilson have done differently next season to get a different result? I am sure that’s what team management was thinking. I can’t disagree.
Still, you won’t catch me saying “Good riddance.” I will miss Wilson, though he won’t believe that. We had our differences. We dug in for some, shall I say, spirited discussions when he disagreed with something I wrote.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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